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Proposed values for individuals

The following is a list of values that can be considered reasonable and that in many cases are widely accepted in our society. The list should not be seen as a definite proposal which can be accepted or rejected, but instead as a basis for discussion which can be used when a group - larger or smaller - wishes to discuss which values they feel comfortable with.

These proposed attitudes and values are presented in Chapter 5 of our monograph. The following translation has been machine-translated and has not yet been sufficiently post-edited. 'Attitudes' have sometimes been mistranslated as 'guidelines' or as 'approaches'. Apologies for the remaining errors or clumsiness in the wording.

1. Righteousness

Honesty . This includes sincerity, straightforwardness, and telling the truth. It also includes not using vague or misleading statements for one's own gain.

Reliability . This means sticking to agreements made. It is related to a sense of responsibility which is defined later.

Integrity . This means that a person that has been trusted to make decisions on behalf of a community or on behalf of other persons shall do so in the interests of justice and the interests of the client, and not use it to benefit the interests of themselves or of their group. This means keeping a red line against corruption, and non-acceptance of any model of society where local loyalties may influence decisions on behalf of the common.

2. Activity-related guidelines

Consideration . This means realizing the consequences of one's intended actions and that one renounces from them if they would lead to significant disadvantages to other individuals. In this sense it includes respect for the autonomy of others.

Restraint . Lack of restraint is often described as someone taking advantage of a situation. It may for example involve taking an unreasonable share of a particular dish at a buffet, or pushing as far as possible in a crowded traffic situation without taking into account that one blocks the traffic resulting in a deadlock. Walking past the major part of a queue and stepping into it almost at the front would be another example fof lack of restraint.

Common to such behaviors is that they are not directed at a particular person, but it is the whole that must take the disadvantages of one person's behavior. Restraint thus means realizing the consequences for the group, and that one refrains from doing what the group is disadvantaged by. These consequences include not only the immediate disadvantages, but also the effects that should be taken into account "if everyone would do that". If the queue culture is broken down, for example, so that everyone competes to move ahead, then that is to everyone's disadvantage.

Willingness to cooperate and willingness to compete. When a large number of people have as a task to carry out an assignment of considerable size, then 'willingness to cooperate' refers to a preference for organizing work through collaboration, while 'competitiveness' refers to a preference for allowing it to take place in the form of competition between groups within the project. Both forms of work are needed, and they complement each other, but collaboration is a difficult art.

Sense of responsibility and loyalty. These related attitudes have been addressed in a previous article. A sense of responsibility refers to each person's responsibility for their deeds, but also a readiness to intervene and assist when needed. Responsibility for one's deeds entails, among other things, an obligation, to the best of our ability, to rectify when an injury has been caused. Loyalty can be defined as a sense of responsibility that is so strong that one accepts significant disadvantages for one self.

Common to these approaches is that they presuppose an ability to see forward and to assess the consequences of one's own and others' actions, as well as that assess these consequences on the basis of current values. The same ability is also needed when using free-thinking moral criteria in the sense described in a previous article.

3. Relationship-related guidelines

Openness . This may denote an insight that one may not always be right, you may have made a mistake, and you must be prepared to change your opinions and your attitude if sufficient reasons emerge. It also means an insight that others may have a different perception of reality than yourself, and that it does not need to be so that one is right and the other is wrong. It may instead be a question about different perspectives that complement each other and that together provide a better understanding of the whole. Openness therefore means being ready to understand the experiences, interpretations and assessments of others.

Openness is of fundamental importance from the point of view of paraliberalism, and it has therefore been pursued as presented as Premise 5 in Chapter 2. The opposite of openness is called cocksureness . (Adequate translation?).

Tolerance . Analogous to the previous point: a readiness to accept that others may have other opinions and behaviors than oneself, and an insight that values and attitudes are culture-dependent. This leads to showing patience and good will even towards those that have a different view than your own.

Critique of norms . This refers to an ability to take a stand on norms within the framework for one's individual autonomy and one's critical state of mind. It does not mean being negative in general to all norms in your social environment. Lack of norm critique occurs, for example, when the behavior of the majority in a group is expected from each member in the group. (The concept of norm is discussed further in Chapter 15).

Mutuality . This term has been proposed by T A Aleinikoff. He explains it by saying that tolerance and openness are not enough; one must also take an active interest in the other party. He writes: "Mutuality demands active engagement, learning about others in their own terms. ... (This) changes the observer ".

Will to understand . This is the approach where situations involving conflicting interests are handled by trying to find a middle ground such that both parties can be sufficiently satisfied with. It often presupposes that each party becomes acquainted with the other party's views and motives, so that they jointly can find a middle ground. Will to understand is therefore based on reciprocity.

The opposite of the will to understand can be called will to dominate where each party sees only two possible ways to resolve the conflict, namely that one of the parties "wins" and the other one must submit completely. These opposite approaches have been discussed in more detail in one previous article.

Solidarity . Loyalty to a larger group and to its members.

4. Respect for and defense of the rights of others

This includes a variety of rights established by international or national decision. Civic attitudes where these rights are respected and defended are the strongest guarantee that they will apply.

Respect for the dignity of fellow human beings . Every human being is considered to have an inherent dignity, but it can be violated, for example by abusive treatment, or by forcing the person to perform abominable acts. Every individual has a right to avoid having his dignity violated. (The assessment of what is to be considered 'offensive' must, however, also be due to the environment, and it can not only accrue to those who consider themselves offended).

Rejection of discrimination . It does not seem easy to make a good definition of discrimination, so it may be referred to another context. However, it can be noted that in many cases, discrimination is a violation of a person's dignity.

Freedom of movement . Every human being has, in principle, the right to move freely within the framework of their own ability, but this right can be limited by society, for example for the maintenance of order.

Right of public access to open land . A further clarification of freedom of movement and its restrictions. This is a clear example of a right that applies in Sweden and that is part of its common values, but which is viewed differently in different parts of the world.

Property rights . Within the framework of applicable law, society establishes the principles for which tangible and intangible property is to be regarded as privately owned, and the rules that shall apply to the holding, transfer and use thereof.

Equal opportunities . Citizens should, as far as possible, be given equal conditions to create and shape their existence, regardless of traits that are innate, inherited, or otherwise is not the result of the person's own free choice.

Co-determination . In such contexts where several people collaborate against common goals or to carry out a mission together, all participants should be given opportunity to participate in joint decisions on how the work is to be organized.

Freedom of expression . Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, although this right may be restricted in practice, both because of a lack of resources, and by the decisions of the state.

Freedom of assembly . (Well-known, need not be explained).

Freedom of religion . This is considered an absolute right in terms of the internal acts of faith (for example, silent prayer), while it can be limited by society when it concerns external acts of faith.

5. Guidelines for knowledge and reason

Acquisition and care of knowledge. Active interest in acquiring knowledge and to apply it, as well as to assist in contradicting baseless claims.

Critical Mindset . Includes the habit of examining the credibility of presented statements and arguments, and to see if there are reasons to question them. It also means that when a person tries to find the cause of a certain phenomenon, he or she should try to identify different possible causes and choose the one that is most likely based on what you know. Just commiting to one of the possible causes is a sign of lack of a critical mindset.

Objectivity . May in this context denote a readiness to listen to arguments and examine them, not least if they contradict one's own view so far. Should be able to be done regardless of who who puts forward the arguments, and for what purpose. The opposite of prejudice.

Respect for science and for all knowledge based on solid experience. This attitude does not stand in opposition to the critical approach, but it does require a critical attitude even towards those who argue against established knowledge.

These knowledge-related attitudes are not only important in connection with knowledge acquisition, for example in schools, but also in connection with the other attitudes that have described above. They are related to openness, recognition, and reciprocity.

Common Sense . This attitudee will be discussed in Chapter 12.

6. Diversity-related attitudes

Under this heading are stated attitudes that are applicable when there are groups with partly different values in a society. This includes society's expectations of what attitudes should apply in such groups as well as for their leaders and members, as well as the attitudes of the majority society towards such groups.

This issue has been addressed early on by T A Aleinikoff and several of the following points have been made by him.

Appreciation of diversity . This means that citizens recognize and appreciate the existence of cultural groups, such as ethnic and religious ones, and at the same time confirming that society can make demands on these groups and on their representatives. An example of such a requirements is Aleinikoff's principle of transitional rights and the principle of freedom of assimilation. (See below).

Rejection of all kinds of supremacism . The term supremacism refers to notion of the supremacy of a particular group and the idea that it would have special rights. It includes racism in both biological and cultural meaning, as well as further religionism and nationalism in the sense of the doctrine of the supremacy of one's own religion and nation.

Welcome and Recognition . This is described as "policy of recognition" by TA Aleinikoff, and as follows:

To be sure, we ask allegiance of newcomers to the nation, but the nation must welcome them in a way that fosters their allegiance. Bourne wrote that integration and dedication to the American project could only come when no group felt that 'its cultural case is being prejudged'. This demands a politics of recognition, not a politics of group-blindness.

To this can be added that such recognition of other groups and their alternative worldviews should not be expected solely by the majority group. It should be possible to make the same expectation on each minority group in its attitude to other minority groups and to the majority culture.

Freedom of Assimilation and Freedom of Transition . This is described by TA Aleinikoff as follows under the heading 'permeability':

This principle insists on both the reality of group boundaries and the ability to cross them.

Crossing group boundaries may, for example, consist of taking part in news and reading literature from a different cultural sphere than one's own, and it may also consist of more drastic measures, such as switching to another religion.

Rejection of cultural separatism . Separatism here refers to the situation where a group turns its thorns outwards towards the surrounding community and isolates itself from it. Separatism can occur both in religious and ethno-religious groups and in connection with political extremism.

Rejection of group egoism . Group egoism refers to the attitude where group members are expected to give special priority to the interests of the group and its members when they are in a position of trust. Separatism can easily lead to group egoism.

7. Respect for and defense of one's own country

Here it is assumed that one's own country is a nation-state with liberal democracy which works in accordance with the established societal values and works to these are respected and strengthened.

Identification with one's own country. This includes solidarity, loyalty and perceived affiliation. This is described by TA Aleinikoff in the following way below categories 'allegiance':

The central idea is that a person be committed to this country's continued flourishing and see himself or herself as part of that ongoing project. The allegiance, the common identification, need not be exclusive, but it must be paramount.

National anchoring . Every citizen is expected to know and understand their own the country's situation, culture and history. This also includes the ability to understand and communicate in the country's national language. Furthermore, every citizen is expected to be prepared to stand up for their own country if and when it is threatened.

Active participation in the government process. This is based on the principle that all public power emanates from the people and is exercised by the state through the system laid down in the constitution. 'Active participation' means, among other things, participation in general elections and in opinion-forming activities in political matters.

Obedience to the law . This is based on the principle that laws are enacted by the government and that the compliance with them is guaranteed in two ways: firstly by the value of obedience to the law, so that citizens follow current law spontaneously, and partly with a legal systems that is based on police power and courts, and that is also realized within the framework of democracy.

The concept of obedience to the law includes respect for the legal property of other individuals and for the common property of society. It also includes acceptance acceptance of those changes of ownership (for example, taxation) that society decides on.

What is said under this heading is also applicable to federations between states where one's own country has chosen to join through legitimate decisions.

8. Knowledge and insight on global issues

Knowledge of developments in the world as a whole , ie. outside one's own country. This includes, for example, knowledge in connection with climate change, environmental degradation, global migration and global public health, including the risk of pandemics. What is said above about attitudes that refer to knowledge and reason of course also applies to these issues.

Sense of co-responsibility for development in the world as a whole. This includes the same areas as in the previous point.